LLRXBuzz - October 29, 2001

The Latest on Legal Research

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FreeLunch.com

http://www.economy.com/freelunch/default.asp is the branch of the Ecomony.com Network that provides access to economic and financial sources. (There's plenty of subscription material available as well, so if you want to check out all the site's offerings visit http://www.economy.com/default.asp.) Information on the site is searchable by keyword, while the advanced search option accepts searching by phrase with drop down boxes to select a geography or start date. You can also browse the FreeLunch searchable subject index, with each subject opening into a list of sub-headings.

This site operates a little differently than most. As you search for information, selected content is downloaded into a virtual basket. You have to be a registered user to view, or download, the material in the basket. Registration is free, but required. (Registration requires name, some occupational information, gender, age range, education, country, and postal code but not entire address.) Additional information on the site includes Hot Downloads and Economic Releases for the current and most recent business day. Interesting. Worth a look.

SEC Launches Spanish Web site - Reuters: October 19, 2001.

The Latest on Legal Research
By Tara Calishain
October 29, 2001

Click here to subscribe to the weekly LLRXBuzz Email Update.

FreeLunch.com

http://www.economy.com/freelunch/default.asp is the branch of the Ecomony.com Network that provides access to economic and financial sources. (There's plenty of subscription material available as well, so if you want to check out all the site's offerings visit http://www.economy.com/default.asp.) Information on the site is searchable by keyword, while the advanced search option accepts searching by phrase with drop down boxes to select a geography or start date. You can also browse the FreeLunch searchable subject index, with each subject opening into a list of sub-headings.

This site operates a little differently than most. As you search for information, selected content is downloaded into a virtual basket. You have to be a registered user to view, or download, the material in the basket. Registration is free, but required. (Registration requires name, some occupational information, gender, age range, education, country, and postal code but not entire address.) Additional information on the site includes Hot Downloads and Economic Releases for the current and most recent business day. Interesting. Worth a look.

SEC Launches Spanish Web site - Reuters: October 19, 2001.

The Securities and Exchange Commission now has a section on its Web site that offer investor information in Spanish for the rapidly growing Hispanic portion of our population. The site explains what the SEC does and how it benefits investors. It also has Spanish translations of investment brochures, links to other government agencies sites and a toll-free phone number for those without Internet access. Get more information from the Reuters article:
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7586651.html.

The Phrase Finder

Just can't remember how that old phrase goes? The Phrase Finder  (http://www.shu.ac.uk/web-admin/phrases/) is a searchable database of phrases and sayings. Enter a single keyword in the search box or select a
word from two drop-down lists of option (there aren't that many words in the drop-down list; I'd stick to the query box.)

Searching is odd; I searched for "Fred" and found the phrase "Lord Fred." ?? On the other hand the search engine is rather smart. I searched for "eagle" and
found two eagle matches and several bird matches. There is no explanation of the phrases in the search results.

For that you'll have to look at the bottom of the site's front page for a link to a database of phrase meanings and origins. Click on a letter to get a listing of all the phrases that start with that letter. Funny, I didn't know "Gregory Peck" was a phrase (cockney rhyming slang.) UK-flavored, very interesting.

Alaska Statistics Index

A second look at another state -- this week it's Alaska.

The Alaska State Library has an index of Alaska statistics online at
http://library.state.ak.us/asp/statestatistics.html. (And it's a long load, so go grab a sandwich or something while it's loading.) Statistical subjects are
listed alphabetically. While most items link directly to the numbers, others link to the information about the publication in which the statistics are published.

The Index includes Bill/Resolution statistics for the 18th (1993-1994) through the 22nd (2001-2002) Legislatures. Also, under Profiles, there are links to
various ways to search the Alaskan economy by region, occupation or source.

Click on the search option to search this site by keyword, phrase or free-text query. The search page provides links to additional search options such as the
CCL Library Catalog and netLibrary's eBook Collection, as well as other online resources and information databases.

Martindale-Hubbell, law.com Announce Alliance

Martindale-Hubbell and law.com have announced an alliance of content exchange. Martindale-Hubbell's Lawyer Locator will be the exclusive law directory on law.com and law.com's Career Center will be the source of employment information on the Martindale-Hubbell site. Get more information from the press release at:
http://library.northernlight.com/FB20011025850000068.html.

Almanac of American Politics 2002

The National Journal Group has posted an Almanac of American Politics 2002 online at http://nationaljournal.com/members/almanac/. There are many different ways to access information, beginning with direct links to State & Districts and Elected Officials.

Headings under State Profiles include The People, Election Results and Key State Officials. There are also links to the Congressional Delegation members and a drop-down menu with additional informational options. The Elected Officials, listed alphabetically, provide general information with a picture and a rundown of the official's career. Details on Congressional officials include committees on which they have served, ratings and Key Votes.

The keyword search is another way to track the information on this site. Search results provide information in the 1998 and 2000 Almanacs as well as
the current 2002 edition. (Full text of both the earlier editions are online also.) Specific section heading are listed below the search box as well as in a
fold-out menu which opens by clicking on Almanac in the column on the right.

Government Science and Technology Resources

The National Technical Information Services sponsors this site providing links to government resources for users in the science and engineering industries at
http://www.scitechresources.gov/.  I couldn't get this site to work on Opera at all, but it works just fine in Mozilla.

Resource search options include full search, science for citizens search (general interest science), or search just Federal laboratories. A keyword search for "anthrax" found ten sites (with minimal annotation -- grrr).  "Nuclear Testing" again found ten results. Doing a full search for anthrax found only ONE result! I'd stick to the keyword search if I were you.

Or you can also browse a list of topics, each of which opens to a form letting you limit your search by resource or specific keywords. Additional options include limiting the number of records returned and whether they are listed alphabetically or by relevancy. Actually I think I like browsing better than keyword searching with this site.

New Search Engine for News Searching

With the news that Excite's NewsTracker was folding up, a couple of news junkies gloomily e-mailed me asking if there were any other news search options out there. There's DayPop, of course, and Moreover, and MagPortal, and several others. And now there's a new one on the scene -- RocketNews at
http://www.rocketnews.com/.

I've gotten pretty jaded about news search engines, tell you the truth about it. All the ones I've seen don't have enough sources to suit my taste and not
enough search options, either. RocketNews blasts out of the gate with over 3,000 sources; they won't give out their list but I'm told it's mostly regular news sites with very few Web logs. Unfortunately the free RocketNews is the merest taste of the paid version of RocketNews, but the free version is worth using.

The interface is Googlesimple; a query box and a pulldown menu to specify the age of the stories for which you're searching (between one and five days.) I
did a search for "anthrax" and got -- no kidding -- 618 articles. That's for 1 day old. For 5 days old I got 825 articles. Yipes.

RocketNews defaults to AND, searching for pinwheel anthrax found nothing. It unfortunately does not like quotes; enter quotes in your search and it'll strip
them, then perform the search as an AND. (Confidential to RocketNews: you need at least a basic help file for your search interface.) I couldn't figure out how to specify NOT in a search, either.

If you just want to browse, there's a category browse at http://www.rocketnews.com/register-bin/agnitio_categories.cgi. The categories are available in a series of pulldown menus. I found this feature all right, but nothing to write home about; they had "portal" as a category, for example, and not search engines.

If the free version of RocketNews got your interest, you might want to check out the advanced version. Subscription fees start at $150 (Canadian) per month
for access to the advanced features. You can also sign up for headline news for your website and an e-newsletter service, but that's priced based on volume.

The advanced service -- aha, offers a better search interface (you can use a series of query boxes to exclude search terms), the ability to have articles e-
mailed to you, and more. I still couldn't figure out how to specify phrases and there was some lagging in load times for the advanced service. But the
management of services was nice, with tabs being used to make several services quickly available. This advanced service is priced too high for individual researchers but corporate and institutional librarians may want to take a look at it.

The cons are that RocketNews only offers a limited amount of free searching and its search syntax isn't easy to understand. The pros are that it has 3,000
sources and is easy to use if you're doing simple keyword searches. A nice complement to DayPop; worth a look.


The Securities and Exchange Commission now has a section on its Web site that offer investor information in Spanish for the rapidly growing Hispanic portion of our population. The site explains what the SEC does and how it benefits investors. It also has Spanish translations of investment brochures, links to other government agencies sites and a toll-free phone number for those without Internet access. Get more information from the Reuters article:
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7586651.html.

The Phrase Finder

Just can't remember how that old phrase goes? The Phrase Finder  (http://www.shu.ac.uk/web-admin/phrases/) is a searchable database of phrases and sayings. Enter a single keyword in the search box or select a
word from two drop-down lists of option (there aren't that many words in the drop-down list; I'd stick to the query box.)

Searching is odd; I searched for "Fred" and found the phrase "Lord Fred." ?? On the other hand the search engine is rather smart. I searched for "eagle" and
found two eagle matches and several bird matches. There is no explanation of the phrases in the search results.

For that you'll have to look at the bottom of the site's front page for a link to a database of phrase meanings and origins. Click on a letter to get a listing of all the phrases that start with that letter. Funny, I didn't know "Gregory Peck" was a phrase (cockney rhyming slang.) UK-flavored, very interesting.

Alaska Statistics Index

A second look at another state -- this week it's Alaska.

The Alaska State Library has an index of Alaska statistics online at
http://library.state.ak.us/asp/statestatistics.html. (And it's a long load, so go grab a sandwich or something while it's loading.) Statistical subjects are
listed alphabetically. While most items link directly to the numbers, others link to the information about the publication in which the statistics are published.

The Index includes Bill/Resolution statistics for the 18th (1993-1994) through the 22nd (2001-2002) Legislatures. Also, under Profiles, there are links to
various ways to search the Alaskan economy by region, occupation or source.

Click on the search option to search this site by keyword, phrase or free-text query. The search page provides links to additional search options such as the
CCL Library Catalog and netLibrary's eBook Collection, as well as other online resources and information databases.

Martindale-Hubbell, law.com Announce Alliance

Martindale-Hubbell and law.com have announced an alliance of content exchange. Martindale-Hubbell's Lawyer Locator will be the exclusive law directory on law.com and law.com's Career Center will be the source of employment information on the Martindale-Hubbell site. Get more information from the press release at:
http://library.northernlight.com/FB20011025850000068.html.

Almanac of American Politics 2002

The National Journal Group has posted an Almanac of American Politics 2002 online at http://nationaljournal.com/members/almanac/. There are many different ways to access information, beginning with direct links to State & Districts and Elected Officials.

Headings under State Profiles include The People, Election Results and Key State Officials. There are also links to the Congressional Delegation members and a drop-down menu with additional informational options. The Elected Officials, listed alphabetically, provide general information with a picture and a rundown of the official's career. Details on Congressional officials include committees on which they have served, ratings and Key Votes.

The keyword search is another way to track the information on this site. Search results provide information in the 1998 and 2000 Almanacs as well as
the current 2002 edition. (Full text of both the earlier editions are online also.) Specific section heading are listed below the search box as well as in a
fold-out menu which opens by clicking on Almanac in the column on the right.

Government Science and Technology Resources

The National Technical Information Services sponsors this site providing links to government resources for users in the science and engineering industries at
http://www.scitechresources.gov/.  I couldn't get this site to work on Opera at all, but it works just fine in Mozilla.

Resource search options include full search, science for citizens search (general interest science), or search just Federal laboratories. A keyword search for "anthrax" found ten sites (with minimal annotation -- grrr).  "Nuclear Testing" again found ten results. Doing a full search for anthrax found only ONE result! I'd stick to the keyword search if I were you.

Or you can also browse a list of topics, each of which opens to a form letting you limit your search by resource or specific keywords. Additional options include limiting the number of records returned and whether they are listed alphabetically or by relevancy. Actually I think I like browsing better than keyword searching with this site.

New Search Engine for News Searching

With the news that Excite's NewsTracker was folding up, a couple of news junkies gloomily e-mailed me asking if there were any other news search options out there. There's DayPop, of course, and Moreover, and MagPortal, and several others. And now there's a new one on the scene -- RocketNews at
http://www.rocketnews.com/.

I've gotten pretty jaded about news search engines, tell you the truth about it. All the ones I've seen don't have enough sources to suit my taste and not
enough search options, either. RocketNews blasts out of the gate with over 3,000 sources; they won't give out their list but I'm told it's mostly regular news sites with very few Web logs. Unfortunately the free RocketNews is the merest taste of the paid version of RocketNews, but the free version is worth using.

The interface is Googlesimple; a query box and a pulldown menu to specify the age of the stories for which you're searching (between one and five days.) I
did a search for "anthrax" and got -- no kidding -- 618 articles. That's for 1 day old. For 5 days old I got 825 articles. Yipes.

RocketNews defaults to AND, searching for pinwheel anthrax found nothing. It unfortunately does not like quotes; enter quotes in your search and it'll strip
them, then perform the search as an AND. (Confidential to RocketNews: you need at least a basic help file for your search interface.) I couldn't figure out how to specify NOT in a search, either.

If you just want to browse, there's a category browse at http://www.rocketnews.com/register-bin/agnitio_categories.cgi. The categories are available in a series of pulldown menus. I found this feature all right, but nothing to write home about; they had "portal" as a category, for example, and not search engines.

If the free version of RocketNews got your interest, you might want to check out the advanced version. Subscription fees start at $150 (Canadian) per month
for access to the advanced features. You can also sign up for headline news for your website and an e-newsletter service, but that's priced based on volume.

The advanced service -- aha, offers a better search interface (you can use a series of query boxes to exclude search terms), the ability to have articles e-
mailed to you, and more. I still couldn't figure out how to specify phrases and there was some lagging in load times for the advanced service. But the
management of services was nice, with tabs being used to make several services quickly available. This advanced service is priced too high for individual researchers but corporate and institutional librarians may want to take a look at it.

The cons are that RocketNews only offers a limited amount of free searching and its search syntax isn't easy to understand. The pros are that it has 3,000
sources and is easy to use if you're doing simple keyword searches. A nice complement to DayPop; worth a look.